Flying aircraft carrier SPB: how he fought in the great Patriotic

Weapons 27/12/19 Flying aircraft carrier SPB: how he fought in the great Patriotic

In the period between the two world wars in different countries were working on projects composite aircraft parts. But in the USSR they reached combat use.

Airplane hybrid

This idea arose from the desire to make a hybrid of the bomber and fighter, which made up for the limited functions of both types of aircraft. Slow-moving and poorly armed bombers usually makes them vulnerable to fighters and antiaircraft artillery. Therefore, the approach of bombers directly to the target is not always possible.

in addition, with the large bombers in those years it was difficult to carry out precision bombing to destroy a point target: the bombing was conducted on the area. To the point of impact is better suited fighter. However, the normal range of the fighters did not allow them to return to base after a RAID on a target.

Heavy bomber, which carries few fighters, let, it seemed to combine the range and accuracy of bombing. In addition, the fighters themselves could not take off with a bomb load. On the approach to the target the fighters away from the bomber strike, after which its course back to base. The bomber did not even fly the front line. After the disengagement of the fighters he turns around, goes in the opposite direction.

it was Assumed that such construction will allow to solve also some other problems. For example, while the engines of all aircraft of such a level was achieved at a higher speed than a bomber. In case of an attack of the enemy, their fighters were able to cover fire bomber.

the limitations of the project were also visible to the naked eye. For example, the bomber in this link could be used only as a carrier, but not for its intended purpose: due to limitations in weight, he just couldn’t bring bomb cargo.

However, in 1931, working in the design Bureau of Vladimir vahmistrova on this project began. In the same year, in the air rose the first link, composed of TB-1 (“heavy bomber-1”) and two fighters-biplanes-4. By the way, one of And-4 was piloted by the famous, later, Valery Chkalov.

Part of a diving

In the 1930-ies were tested different layouts “Link”: two or three fighters, with their mount on the wings and under them and on the fuselage, with different aircraft as carriers. The most cumbersome design was a variant with five fighters, dubbed “Aviamarch”. In it, two fighters were located on the wings, two hung under the wings, and the whole structure took off at the same time. In flight to it under the fuselage coupled a fifth fighter. First flight “Aviamatki” was held in 1935. Worked well as techniques refuel fighters in the air with “aviamatki”.

After numerous tests Vakhmistrov stopped on a variant with two I-16 fighters located under the wings of TB-3. This hybrid is called “Composite dive bomber” (St. PETERSBURG) and was adopted in 1938.

the First plans provided for supplying the troops of the forty-SPB, equally for the red Army and air force of the red Fleet. However, by the time of adoption of the SPB to the weapons that were included in it elements TB-3 and I-16 – obsolete. They were replaced with new samples of aviation equipment. Managed to equip just five SPB as part of the aviation of the black sea fleet, but in January 1941 they reconnectable. Were they planes began to use for its original purpose.

With success against Romanians

To the schema of the SPB command of the black sea fleet aircraft returned shortly after the beginning of the great Patriotic war. The nature of warfare in this theater could use them with success against Malabonthe ability of the Romanian troops. July 26, 1941, two SPB flew from the base in Evpatoria in the direction of the Romanian port of Constanta. 40 km from the Romanian coast four-16 release from their “Queens” and all of a sudden for the Romanians, who knew not, where there could take on Russian fighter jets, struck a well-aimed blow to the tank farm in the port of Constanta. After which its course was the flight to Odessa.

the success of the first combat use SPB inspired command of the black sea fleet in further experiments. August 10, 1941, three SPB departed for the destruction Chernovetskogo bridge over the Danube, involving highways plus a strategically important oil pipeline Ploiesti—Constanta. The blow did not reach the goal. Repeated attacks was held three days later, and this time, according to the reports of commanders of crews, one farm bridge was destroyed and damaged the pipeline.

But not against the Germans,

No losses during these raids prompted the Soviet command greater use of SPB, including on the land front. In late August 1941, a group SPB tried to strike at the German ferries on the Lower Dnieper, but here suffered heavy losses from the German “Messerschmitt”. However, occasional cases of application of the SPB took place in 1942.

requests command of the black sea fleet to supply additional SPB the people’s Commissariat of weapons answered the same failure. The Soviet aviation industry, have long ceased to produce TB-3, gradually ceased production of the obsolete I-16. Design SPB is not allowed to use new, more advanced fighters. For accurate bombing was carried out a specialized dive bomber PE-2, which was much more effective grotesque “aviamatki”.

the Defense industry increased its production of advanced weapons. The era of the freakish hybrids the aircraft came to a natural end. And apply they could, as experience has shown, only partially, against such an opponent, as the Romanian army.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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